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View Full Version : Middle Hope; No-Hope; Hope-less . . . Whatever! (20-Apr-2010)



1HappyHiker
04-21-2010, 09:22 PM
There's a branch off the Montalban Ridge called the Bemis Ridge which includes the named peaks of Mt. Crawford, Mt. Hope, Hart Ledge, and technically it also includes Cave Mountain in Bartlett. The Bemis Ridge also includes an unnamed peak (approximately 2,180 ft elevation) that is situated between Mt. Hope and Hart Ledge. Since this peak has no name, the title of this Trip Report includes some lighthearted suggestions for a name for this little guy. For the purposes of this report, I've decided to use Middle Hope as the name for referring to this peak.

There are no trails to what I'm calling Middle Hope, and not only that, there are no trails that are relatively close by. There are several options for bushwhacking to this little mountain. I opted to begin on the Davis Path and hike less than 10 minutes to the first brook crossing. Here, I left the trail and headed southward for a couple of miles, and then headed eastward up the ridge that leads to Middle Hope.

At this time of year, regardless of whether you're doing an on-trail or an off-trail hike there are lots of eye-catching things to see before you even get to your destination.
I'm referring specifically to the wild flowers that are now in bloom. On my trek to Middle Hope, there were yellow violets, purple violets, trillium, and trout lily. Below is a collage of photos taken of these flowers during my trek.

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_jMddpAdzX0E/S88emvnjLAI/AAAAAAAAHD0/NWVBeB4kvxA/s400/Collage.jpg

But, of all the flowers seen along the way, the one shown below was my favorite. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is called a Spring Beauty.

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_jMddpAdzX0E/S88eaoBfrJI/AAAAAAAAHDQ/KiP7Wq_zlyQ/s800/SpringBeauty.JPG

Besides enjoying the numerous wildflowers along the way, it was also very enjoyable just walking through the open woods en route to Middle Hope. The photo below shows a particularly attractive section of woods looking down a corridor of what I presume is a very old logging road.

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_jMddpAdzX0E/S88ejHZCqNI/AAAAAAAAHDs/lr1gfrZDcWQ/s800/OpenWoods.JPG

Most of my bushwhack was done well to the east of the Saco River, but at one point I decided to go down to the river bank and snap a few photos, such as the one shown below.

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_jMddpAdzX0E/S88hT5NmDsI/AAAAAAAAHEA/KYeP6sYXilM/s800/Saco_River.JPG

I eventually came to the ridge leading up to Middle Hope. Up until this point, no snow had been encountered. Thankfully, my snow-free trek continued all the way to the top of Middle Hope, except for a few isolated patches of snow here & there.

The photos below were taken from ledges on and near the summit of Middle Hope. Perhaps they will give some sense of the views from there. You'll notice that it's rather overcast and cloudy in some of these snapshots. It was supposed to be mostly sunny. It wasn't! It wasn't supposed to rain. It did!

Sawyer River Valley with Mt Tremont on the left

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_jMddpAdzX0E/S88ebl7PKyI/AAAAAAAAHDU/0cddHZ-IXho/s800/SawyerRiverValley.JPG

A View toward Attitash

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_jMddpAdzX0E/S88efGXDJJI/AAAAAAAAHDg/L5A140jBeck/s800/Attitash.JPG

Mt. Resolution (on left) to Mt. Parker (on right)

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_jMddpAdzX0E/S88ediz2NRI/AAAAAAAAHDc/J9V2lkxbOvo/s800/MtsResolution_Parker.JPG

Mt. Willey in a Rain Shower (it eventually reached me on Middle Hope)

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_jMddpAdzX0E/S88ec2Um-ZI/AAAAAAAAHDY/zXL5sVAHwtU/s800/MtWilley.JPG

Mt. Hope (on left) along with small tip of Mt. Washington on the horizon

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_jMddpAdzX0E/S88egT5XOcI/AAAAAAAAHDo/naujVCe8jeY/s800/MtsHope_Washington.JPG

After doing this trek, I had a wee bit of time left, and so I decided to drive the short distance down to Sawyer River Road to check out something that I'd spotted on a topographic map. There's a snowmobile trail on the east side of Rt. 302, directly across from the entrance to Sawyer River Road. If you follow the snowmobile trail for a few hundred feet, you cross the railroad tracks. Just slightly beyond the railroad tracks is this pond. Does anyone know anything about this body of water? Is this a naturally occurring body of water, or is it man-made?

The photo below shows a portion of the pond, and also visible in this photo is Middle Hope! It's the small peak in the middle (of course:)) of the photo, and Mt. Hope is on the left. You can actually see this pond toward the bottom right of another photo (above) in this report which is labeled as: "Sawyer River Valley with Mt Tremont on the left".

"Mystery" Pond on east side Route 302 opposite Sawyer River Road

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_jMddpAdzX0E/S88ekWJMtsI/AAAAAAAAHDw/R0mwHn9bjsE/s800/UnknownPond.JPG

My trek to Middle Hope was a fun adventure. And, it marked a milestone, albeit a very minor one. I've now hiked to all the peaks along this Bemis Ridge from Cave Mountain to Mt. Crawford. However, I've not hiked the entire ridgeline that connects these peaks. And although that might be an interesting adventure, it's one that I doubt I'll ever undertake. I'm quite content with the separate stand-alone hikes I've done to each of the peaks along the Bemis Ridge.

1HappyHiker

Anna LeBlanc
04-22-2010, 12:56 PM
Great trip report and photos as usual John.I love the flower pictures.It's nice to see nature bringing forth its beauty for us again.

We are supposed to be hiking Peaked Mt in Monson,MA this Sunday but it doesn't look like the weather will be cooperating:mad:


__________
Anna

CHRIS
04-22-2010, 01:01 PM
Great report and wonderful pictures. Thanks for sharing.

Snow Miser
04-22-2010, 04:31 PM
Great TR and photos John. I always look forward to reading your reports and seeing your photos.:)

krummholz
04-22-2010, 09:06 PM
When I look at the USGS Bartlett quad, I see that the pond you're wondering about has a suspiciously squared-off shape on its downstream end, which does make me think it's not a natural pond. But I have never explored that pond. I did explore Hart Ledge some time back, for the simple reason that the quad shows an overhanging contour line, and I just had to check that out! That Bemis Ridge looks really interesting. Middle Hope may be only around 2200 feet high, but no one ever goes there, and the whole ridge is really untouched. Bemis Ridge might be one of the longest ridges anywhere near the Presies that is so unexplored. Your photos are great!

1HappyHiker
04-23-2010, 09:06 AM
Anna; Chris; Bob: Your very kind words about my Trip Report are greatly appreciated and I want to thank each of you for taking a moment to post a response.

Jenny: Your hunch is correct! I've received an e-mail from an individual with some personal knowledge about that "mystery" pond that I included in my Trip Report.
Apparently this pond was formed as a result of the highway department's mining of gravel from that area. Once they finished, the big depression in the earth filled with water, and now we have a pond! The gravel was mined for a project that involved re-routing a section of Route 302. The highway used to run east of the railroad tracks, whereas the re-routed (and current-day roadway) runs west of the tracks in that particular area.

It' interesting to look at some old quad maps and see that the pond is NOT there! Below is a link to one of the old quad maps. (As you probably know, you need to click on the little magnifying glass to enlarge this old map.)

http://docs.unh.edu/NH/crwfsh46se.jpg

On a different topic, you must have done a lot of off-trail exploration when you were based in NH. It's interesting that you also have been to Hart Ledge. And, it's also interesting that you mention the overhanging contour line. I must admit that I had not noticed that on the topo map until you mentioned it. Now I'll have to go back and look at the quad maps for other ledges that I've explored and see it I can find overhanging contour lines.:) Thanks for pointing this out!


When I look at the USGS Bartlett quad, I see that the pond you're wondering about has a suspiciously squared-off shape on its downstream end, which does make me think it's not a natural pond. But I have never explored that pond. I did explore Hart Ledge some time back, for the simple reason that the quad shows an overhanging contour line, and I just had to check that out! That Bemis Ridge looks really interesting. Middle Hope may be only around 2200 feet high, but no one ever goes there, and the whole ridge is really untouched. Bemis Ridge might be one of the longest ridges anywhere near the Presies that is so unexplored. Your photos are great!

MelNino
04-23-2010, 09:42 AM
Lovely pictures, thanks for sharing :)

KSearl
05-04-2010, 08:25 PM
Wow, great trail report. I love the trail reports where people bushwhack. I find it very interesting because I honestly wouldn't feel comfortable doing until I am more weathered hiker...I hope to be able to one day though.

Your flower pictures are great. I have seen all of them this year (Trillium, Trout Lily and Yellow Violets) on the trails so far with the exception of you favorite that you mentioned, the Spring Beauty. I will keep my eyes peeled.

My favorite picture below is absolutely Willey in a rain shower...that's a great shot. Good job and thanks for sharing.

Karl

1HappyHiker
05-04-2010, 09:23 PM
Lovely pictures, thanks for sharing :)

Wow, great trail report . . . Good job and thanks for sharing.
I want to thank each of you for your very positive comments. My hiking adventures provide me with joy and satisfaction, and it's so nice to hear that I can provide some enjoyment to others by sharing these experiences through my Trip Reports.